arterial insufficiency of lower extremities

arterial insufficiency of lower extremities

a condition characterized by hardening, thickening, and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries in the legs. It causes decreased circulation, sensation, and function. Symptoms include sharp, cramping pain during exercise or rest at night; numbness; skin changes ranging from pallor to ulceration; thickened toenails; and loss of hair on the legs. Dorsalis pedis, posterior tibial, and popliteal pulses may be diminished or absent. The ankle-brachial index is used as the initial screening test, and laboratory studies usually show elevated plasma lipid levels. See also claudication.